What Do You Want to Know? 2021 BMW R18

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UPDATE: Here’s my review!


After the quirky-but-commercially-unsuccessful R1200C from two decades ago, BMW has reloaded and is gunning for Harley-Davidson and Indian with a big, burly cruiser. Let’s find how out Take 2 goes…

The German firm calls the R18 “BMW Motorrad’s modern interpretation of a cruiser that continues in the brand tradition and confidently exhibits the style of times gone by.” That’s a little fluffy from a marketing standpoint, but next week I get to take one home with me and figure it out for myself. What do you want to know about it?

To be fair, the “style of times gone by” refers to the gorgeous 1936 BMW R5, a bike that was ahead of its time and one that clearly inspires the R18 from a styling department.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a modern ~800cc take on the R5?. Photo from BMW.

How bikes have changed. Photo from BMW.

Seeing as the R18 is all-new, I don’t have prior experience with anything similar to extrapolate theories from. With that in mind, today I just want to focus on the dollars. BMW’s offering two variants at launch, the base model and the First Edition.
Base Model: $17,495 + $695 destination = $18,190 total.

The First Edition package is only going to be available for 2021 model year bikes. It includes Light White double pinstriping on the Black Storm Metallic paint, chrome finishes, seat emblem, and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side cover as well as a Welcome Box which will have some yet-to-be disclosed goodies that “will delight every BMW enthusiast.” The First Edition package is listed as a $2,150 option, however if you select it on BMW’s online configurator it will automatically force you to add the $225 Select Package, which includes an anti-theft alarm system, heated grips, and lockable fuel filler cap.

Rounding it all up is the Premium Package ($1,450), which includes Hill Start Control, Headlight Pro, Adaptive Headlight (illuminates the inside of curvers), and Reverse Assist. Add everything up (which many BMW owners will do) and you’ll need to fork over $22,015 (including destination) plus your local taxes to put one of these in your garage. There’s a ton of cosmetic accessories, but for now the only other option-related tidbit I’ll share is that a passenger seat is $250.

The big thing (figuratively and literally) is the engine, a 1,802cc (110 ci) hunk of metal that produces 91 horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 116 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. It’s the biggest boxer BMW has ever built, and it’s paired with a 6-speed transmission, 4.23 gallon fuel tank, and a road-ready weight of 761 pounds.

The BMW website is full of quotes that remind you that this won’t be fast and it’s full of ‘soul and character.’ “As peak values such as top speed or sprinting ability quickly lose their significance in the saddle of the BMW R18. Instead, the powerful torque invites you to enjoy every mile to its fullest.”

Check out what BMW has to say about their newest, biggest, boxer – then let me know your questions/grievances/jokes in the comments below!

Note the “Berlin Built” on the bottom of the speedo.


Look for a First Ride Review on Friday the 18th!

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